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DRAMA AS COPS ARREST MP BACEDE MABUZA

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image MANZINI - Hosea Member of Parliament Mduduzi Bacede Mabuza being pushed by plain-clothes police officers while he was on the phone during his arrest yesterday. CENTRE: The MP being shoved into a Quantum by the officers. RIGHT: Mabuza wrestling with the po

MANZINI – Residents of Coates Valley in Manzini yesterday witnessed a dramatic arrest of a legislator, Mduduzi Bacede Mabuza.
His arrest follows the issuance of a warrant for his apprehension for obstruction, which was, however, not explained.


Mabuza came out of his premises, a double-storey mansion, looking immaculate in a navy blue slim-fit suit, white shirt and black shoes. He coordinated his look with his shop, Baceth Hardware branded mask.


His premises are located along Kelly Street, in Coates Valley and he exited the compound to address the police at about 8:38am.
 The elected Member of Parliament (MP) for Hosea Constituency had to be ‘assisted’ through the use of ‘minimal force’ by the police to board a kombi that ferried him to the Mbabane Police Station.
This was after he had made a number of demands to the six plain-clothes police officers, before boarding the vehicle.


Demands


The demands included that he did not want to be transported in the Toyota Quantum that was parked about 10 metres from his gate. The legislator said the reason he was not comfortable with travelling in the police kombi, was that he did not know their COVID-19 status.
“I don’t know your status and there is no thermal scanner to help ascertain your body temperature among other things. You are also standing in close proximity with each other, and are not practising social distancing,” Mabuza said.


Thereafter, the legislator requested to be chauffeured in a Nissan Bakkie used by the Scenes of Crime Department. The police van was parked strategically in front of the gate to block any vehicle into, or out of the compound.


The lawmaker said he was comfortable with being transported in the bakkie, as travelling in the Quantum would be detrimental to his health. Worth noting is that mini-buses/ kombis are permitted to ferry people not exceeding 80 per cent of their capacity.
Mabuza explained to them that in his vehicle, he travelled alone.
It was at this instance that National Desk Officer -crime-Clement Sihlongonyane informed the legislator that he was now under arrest and had forfeited that luxury.


“Honourable (MP), we’ve now arrested you and you need to come with us or should we take it that you are not complying with the warrant of arrest?” Sihlongonyane asked.
The legislator responded to the negative, but instead walked towards the back of the bakkie, demanding that he be transported in it. While this was happening, Mabuza had requested some of the people within his compound to take pictures and videos of what was happening.


The police calmly informed him that the vehicle he wanted to board was not there to ferry him but was used to take corpses to the morgue.


Complicate


One of the police officers was heard repeatedly saying: “Honourable, don’t complicate things.”
At some instance, the MP requested to be hand- cuffed as the police were there to arrest him. His plea was ignored but instead, one officer offered him a sanitiser to use; however, Mabuza informed them that he had his own.


Subsequent to this, tempers started to flare as the back and forth engagement on the mode of transport issue had taken over 20 minutes. The police started to ‘assist’ the legislator by walking him towards the police kombi while clinging onto his left arm.


This was when Mabuza made a call to an unknown person, narrating what was happening. While still on the phone, the pace escalated and at the sliding door of the kombi, ‘minimal force’ was used such that he landed on the three-seater seat and sprawled across, while asking one police officer why he was being choked.


Another police officer had also lost his cool as he questioned the legislator why he had punched him in the face. This scuffle drew the attention of the quiet residential area as motorists passing by looked on at what was happening.
The police left after 9am while they claimed to have arrived at the premises at about 6am.

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